Friday, October 4, 2013

Lyle Lovett "She's Already Made Up Her Mind"

Back in 1992, the format we know as Triple A (Adult Album Alternative) was really still in its formative stage.  Oh, there were stations like WMVY and WRNX and others, who played an eclectic mix of intelligent and critically-acclaimed artists, aimed at the discerning adult listener.

But there was no such thing in South Florida, where I was living.

Which made life difficult for artists that didn't fit inside a traditional box.

In 1992, I was working at a small cable operation in there production department.

I was the guy who made those low, low, low budget tv commercials.  The kind that feature the car dealer who's pitch on-location at his lot is drown out by the windy conditions.  The kind that feature shots of food that look beige and unappetizing because they are under-lit, not dressed by a professional food stylist and look terrible on grainy, low-grade video.

The kind of local cable commercial that features a final shot with the entire staff of the business, standing in front of the company sign, waving roboticly.

I was the guy who did that.

On occasion, my job would be a little easier, in that, the client would provide us with some high quality video and I'd just have to edit the pieces together and add a voice-over.

This would frequently happen when an artist like Lyle Lovett was coming to town. 

Ahead of his Fort Lauderdale area appearance, Lyle's promoter sent a couple of music videos from his new album, and we were left to our own devices.

First, I tried to put together a concert spot featuring the video for "She's Already Made Up Her Mind."  But after the first couple of tries, I found that trying to make a dynamic, exciting show promotion over the sounds of a slow ballad, was not working.

So I started cutting things together over the strains of this song called "Church."

My boss came and stood over my shoulder, to see what I was working on.  After listening for minute, he questioned my choice of song.  Why didn't I use the more traditional sounding, country-ish ballad?

I explained that I chose the other song for reasons of pacing.

"But if you use this, people will think this is the kind of music he plays."

Admittedly, neither of us knew much about Lyle Lovett at the time.

To us, he was just a "Country Music" artist.  At the time, there was no context for him to be anything else, outside of the clearly drawn genre lines.

In the end, I cut the promo to include a little bit of both songs.  It probably wasn't as cohesive as it could have been with just "Church," but it did give a broader explanation of who Lyle Lovett was.

Of course, 20-plus years later, more people do understand what kind of music Lyle Lovett plays.  They understand that he's not strictly a Country artist.  They understand that Lovett might throw in Texas Swing and Gospel and Folk and R&B and whatever makes his song work the best.

And there is a home for artists like Lyle Lovett and Elvis Costello and Neko Case and others that don't fit neatly into one box.

Thankfully, I found a home here too.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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